Anaphylaxis is a rare form of severe allergic reaction that can be fatal if not treated promptly. The condition occurs owing to inhalation or ingestion of an allergen. The symptoms of the severe allergic reaction vary from person to person. In some cases, an anaphylactic reaction develops within seconds after exposure to the allergen, whereas in others it may take several minutes or even hours for the symptoms of anaphylaxis to appear.
How To Treat Anaphylaxis
To prevent complications, a person experiencing an anaphylactic reaction should be promptly taken to a hospital. Epinephrine shots are the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis. If a person has a history of anaphylaxis, while awaiting medical intervention in the home or workplace, the patient can be given an epinephrine shot into the outer thigh to alleviate the symptoms of anaphylaxis. To aid absorption, the site of the injection should be gently massaged.
Depending upon the severity of the anaphylactic reaction, your doctor might administer two to three epinephrine shots after an interval of 10 to 15 minutes. Epinephrine is administered intravenously when the condition of the patient does not improve with shots.
Antihistamines can rapidly provide relief from the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Medicines that obstruct the histamines from binding to H1 and H2 histamine receptors are more effective than the conventional antihistamines that prevent the histamines from attaching only to the H1 receptor.
Corticosteroids cannot provide instant relief from the symptoms of anaphylaxis, nonetheless they are recommended to prevent recurrence of the allergic reaction. It usually takes at least six hours to realize the benefits of corticosteroids after the administration of the drugs.
Although home remedies are not recommended for treating anaphylaxis, they can be used by people with a history of anaphylaxis to prevent recurring anaphylaxis reaction. The risk of developing anaphylaxis can be diminished by taking quercetin supplements daily. Quercetin is a type of plant flavonoid that can protect a person from severe allergic reactions. To improve the antihistamine function of quercetin, it should be taken with vitamin C rich foods and supplements.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps that sometimes accompany anaphylaxis can be treated with zinc supplements. Up to 30mg of zinc can be taken daily. Several herbs with antihistamine properties can reduce the risk of developing anaphylaxis, if taken immediately after exposure to an allergen. Stinging nettle, licorice, ashwagandha and Chinese skullcap are beneficial for people prone to severe allergies.
How To Prevent Anaphylaxis
After recovering from an anaphylactic reaction, your doctor may recommend allergy tests to identify the allergen responsible for the reaction. Allergens are usually identified through blood and skin tests.
Common allergens linked to anaphylaxis triggers include certain medications such as penicillin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, morphine, egg and gelatin based vaccines, foods such as peanuts, shellfish, wheat, egg, and soy, insect stings, insulin or progesterone-based drugs or injections, latex, and sulfites in preservatives. Once the allergen is detected, you should take steps to avoid the substance throughout your life to prevent further anaphylactic reactions.